The holiday season is a joyous time filled with food, fellowship, and fun. But if your family is like most, the holidays this year will look a little different due to safety concerns – most notably for those aged 65+. Since involving seniors in the holiday festivities is essential for their health and well-being, you’ll need to find creative ways to stay connected with your aging loved ones. What follows are several holiday celebration ideas for older family members who live close by or far away.
How Socialization Benefits the Aging
Studies have found that older adults with more fulfilling social lives tend to avoid many of the same physical, emotional, and cognitive challenges that socially isolated seniors experience.
Seniors that stay connected all year long enjoy these benefits as a result:
Aging adults who are socially active tend to handle stress better, which improves cardiovascular and immune system health.
Seniors who are socially engaged are less likely to experience anxiety.
Lower risk for depression
Social isolation and loneliness can cause or worsen depression, while socialization has the opposite effect.
There appears to be a link between socialization and higher self-esteem and a sense of worth in older adults.
Socializing regularly helps keep seniors mentally sharp, stimulated, and intellectually engaged — all of which can improve cognition.
Positive social interactions consistently can also increase one’s lifespan.
Fun Holiday Activities for Seniors
Here are some creative ways to make the holidays feel more traditional for the entire family while including older members in the festivities:
Many seniors don’t put up holiday decorations for one reason or another. Ask family members of all ages to make homemade ornaments, and then schedule a time to exchange your holiday creations. As a family, hang the ornaments on your Christmas tree or in the window. When finished, please take pictures of all the family decorations, and share them on social media.
Personalized greeting cards
Even in this high-tech age, people still enjoy receiving greeting cards in the mail. Ask Mom to help you make some homemade holiday cards or Dad to help you sign and address preprinted cards filled with handwritten messages. Addressing envelopes and mailing cards with inspirational messages is a great way to boost the holiday spirits of those special seniors in your life!
If your seniors live far away and are tech-savvy, use video chat services like Skype, Google Hangouts, or FaceTime to stay connected during the holidays. Have your kids ask their elderly relatives questions about how they celebrated holidays growing up. What was their favorite gift or holiday dish as a child? What are their fondest holiday memories?
Ask your parents to read their grandchildren a holiday story or use the online time to share family baking recipes. Even better, record video messages by utilizing an app. such as Marco Polo, and then watch them later when it’s more convenient.
Drive the family over to your loved ones’ homes and sing them some of their favorite holiday carols while standing on the driveway. Invite your seniors to join in and then go caroling together at the homes of other friends, relatives, and neighbors.
In addition to the social aspects, holidays are all about exchanging gifts. With new COVID strains still looming as a threat, large family holiday gatherings aren’t always safe. Do a drive-by celebration and gift exchange instead during which everyone social distances. Later, open your gifts while video chatting to make it more like being together in the same room!
We Love Keeping Seniors Active and Entertained!
With everything else on your plate, helping aging loved ones stay active can be challenging any time of year. At Senior1Care, our dedicated, compassionate professionals deliver exceptional care to individuals seeking dependable ways to maintain their independent lifestyles. In business since 2006, our unique scope of services ranges from personal care and household services to dementia care, family consultation, and geriatric care counseling.
We are a local, family-owned, and operated home care company with services that can be uniquely tailored to meet each individual client’s needs. To learn more about Senior1Care now or schedule an assessment for a senior in South Bend, IN, today, please visit us at www.senior1care.com.